Reading is important.
I believe we have all heard something like that in our lives. While doing research at college for my degree I remember watching a lot of YouTube videos. I also did a lot of Google searches. Often I found that I understood much of the knowledge of what I had viewed at the time. However, more often than not I found that I had not retained that knowledge for very long.
Then I started looking towards books and research papers. These were compendiums of other peoples’ knowledge all nicely packaged up into something I could hold in my hand. Most notably, after finishing a book, I would often get more fulfillment than from binge watching numerous 3-minute videos.
So now, I am setting a goal of reading more every month. I want to share with all of you the titles and recommendations of the books I read related to AI, Machine Learning, Python, Computer Science, and technology. I often read many other books, but I want to focus here on the books that can help all of us improve our knowledge in these spectacular fields. Some of these books I even plan to reread so I can gather bits of knowledge that I may have missed.
I would like to mention that I wasn’t sponsored by any of the authors. I took the time to read them and I want to give my honest opinion about them. Our time is important. The time it takes to write a book and go through the creative process is astounding. Also, spending time trying to see if a book is worth your time or money is just as important.
With that in mind, let’s check out July’s books.
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future – Kevin Kelly
While reading The Inevitable, one thing that really stood out was many of the technologies around us today that are changing aren’t going anywhere. We are in an early period of a new revolution and Kelly makes us truly aware of that. The swift growth and change that we are witnessing, the rapidity at which we and machines are becoming connected, is astounding.
I began to think of the Cloud, the internet, AI, new types of resources, my idea of privacy, and even us as a species as growing more complex. But rather than fight those complexities, we can think of them as the beginning of something new that we cannot imagine yet. People are constantly thinking of new ways to access data, use it for some new idea that makes life more free to do what we do best – to continue to ask questions. To discover.
I would recommend this book if you are interested in thinking more about how AI can and will influence our future; if you are not looking for technical understanding of AI, but rather an overall understanding of its importance.
Deep Learning for Computer Vision with Python – Dr. Adrian Rosebrock
When I was studying for my Master’s and in dire need of some direction, I read countless blogs, tutorials, and watched videos. I was looking for some guidance and a foundation to help me start creating my own neural networks. I had tried Caffe, Tensorflow, and even Keras. Adrian has created a set of amazing building blocks to get you started in Keras, Computer Vision, and Python. Along with the books, he has created an amazing blog, PyImageSearch, that also answers other questions not found in the book.
Here you can learn the fundamentals of deep learning, how to create your own convolutional neural networks, and how to tweak some of the parameters to improve your own models. He has a good variety of examples to help. After finishing the Starter Bundle (the first book), I had a clearer understanding of how deep learning for classification problems works.
I would definitely recommend these books if you are interested in using Keras for your Machine Learning projects; would like a nice balance between theory with actual code; or really have no idea where to begin in creating your own convolutional neural networks.
I still continue to read even as I get older. Not everyone enjoys reading. But what is important is to make the effort everyday to improve yourself through learning. Watching videos can be super helpful for a quick answer. I just personally enjoy reading to help me better understand and think about a topic.
Whatever you choose to do, don’t quit learning.